Judy -- I hope you loosen up for your run this afternoon
Marjorie - sounds like a full day alrightie. Good 11
Carol - sounds as if you will be busy also, wow.
Camille - nice walk, and I like those dresses. Are you going to be MotB?
Damaris - Congrats on your Ultra! :-) I'll read your RR blog later tonight. I'm glad you shared
Crazysue - glad you took it easy, I hope you do not have a flareup
AnonGuest - Taper time for housecleaning - very practical!
Lisa - great RR. and have a good flight out
Arimathea - have a nice easy-day - Train idea was a good one. Looking forward to RR
Cindy - great race and nice RR! Glad you felt great on your run today
Sunday was SRD for me
Today I did :35 minutes continuing my BaseBuilding slowly :-)
Have a great day everyone!
Our little running group did a Remembrance run for Boston at noon. Started with a prayer. Then some walked, some ran. It was nice. Back in a bit for personals!
5K's and Obstacle Runs
Goal for 2013: 10K
Icebreaker Challenge 5K, Girls on the Run 5K, Friehofer's Run for Women 5K, Hero Rush, Warrior Dash Florida, Warrior Dash Eastern NY, Turkey Trot, Mud Mania, and yet-to-be-decided goal 10K.
Double Digit Runner
Must be a helluv a blister Lisa
Cindy yes dh is going with me
waves to Tessa
Pilates in a few min. Dad has officially signed the papers to sell the house so it is under contract. He is supposed to have a to do list for dh and I when we are there to help get it ready to close the end of May. Guess I will be at a hotel for the wedding.
Camille--love the dresses! I wore a pretty floral print dress for DS1's wedding in Hawaii, but it was just family. The MOB wore a very traditional MOB dress and I thought it looked very stuffy and matronly. That suit would be very cute too! When is the wedding??
Julie---great that you have a group to run with!
Uh, Tessa--you can take a day off you know. You only ran 50 miles yesterday!
Lisa....that must be one heck of a blister! I would be curious to know how you feel after walking the 26.2 as compared to running the same.
Judy...hope your stiffness disappears. what do you think brought that on?
Cindy....I am sharing a room with Marjorie, so think I am set for H/M
Karen...I believe you need a good taper! You have really been going at it.
Tessa...I do believe you could take a day off after yesterdays 50 MILES!! My heavens, I would not be able to move.
Fran...keep on going, you are doing great.
I still am running without a garmin, so yesterday when I did my 10 miles, I kinda just glanced at the clock when I left and when I got back. If I remembered correctly I did the 10.12 miles in 2hours 10 min, which is not that great for most, but the first race I ever did was a 15K in 2008 and I ran that in 2 hours 9 min, so I just ran 10 at the same pace that I ran 9 back in 2008! So now I am thinking that I must have timed myself wrong yesterday, but I swear I didn't, which makes me very excited. I hope I am right! I thought I had a good run yesterday, but not that good. I guess time will tell, so to speak.
Julie...loved the pic of all you runners doing the run for Boston.
6/8 Hatfield/McCoy Half, 8/18 lake Erie Shores and Islands Half, 9/21 Mighty Niagara Half Lewiston, NY, 10/7 Cleveland Rock & Roll Half 10/6 or Detroit Free Press 10/20, A Christmas Story 5 or 10K Cleveland 12/7, Santa Hustle Half Cedar Point 12/15
Hip is a little achy today. Decided to give it a break an only do two miles with my group.
Marjorie - I LOVE the dress. Now I can't wait to see a picture YOU in it!
Ginny - Thanks for the encouragement. I can see 6.2 around the corner!
Tessa - YAY YAY YAY on the 50 miler. Sheesh! What an amazing feat!
LC - we have a "reluctant" member of our group too - a member's DH - and he's the fastest one... arrrg! LOL
Karen - Great job on the PR. And you are SUCH a geek! I love that you hurried back and plugged in your formulas for your other distances!! haha!
Carol - Yes, I am amazed how far I've come in the year that I've been running. As I "re-live" this couch-to-5k program with my group, I have vivid memories of wondering how I would EVER do a 5k!! And, right now, I have 11 bibs hanging on my bulletin board! woo hoo!
Sue - you're making me SO jealous. I am just DREAMING of my little baby tomato plants coming in the mail. I'm going to have a deck FULL of tomatoes!! (starting on May 15th!!!)
Lisa - incredible race report and pictures. I loved reading every word and looking at all of your pictures. You had an awesome attitude about getting the job done. And I love the little flashlight story.
Camille - I like both of the pictures. I don't think you could go wrong with either one of them.
Cindy - Cool Wake Forest report. I can't imagine 3000 people starting from a football stadium. That must have looked a little like the Olympic opening ceremonies! Nice time! Oh.... and neat that you got to meet some "running royalty" with such a speedy elite masters runner.
Okay... wow... tried to catch up on two days. If I missed someone, my apologies!
Labor of Love 50m 2013
I’ve done plenty of full marathons (59 as of this writing) and 13 ultras, all around the 50K distance – exact mileage varies depending on trail layout and race director’s aptitude for both math and malevolence – and I wanted to take distance running to the next level and try a 50 miler. Two problems. One is that I am not at all a fast trail runner. A typical 50 miler on trails has a 13-15 hour time limit depending on trail difficulty, and I am not confident that I am able to cover 50 miles of trail in 13 to 15 hours. The other problem is that I can trip on a flat floor and my chances of falling during a trail 50m are close to 100 percent. While I can swear, pick myself up, and continue after most falls, there’s always the possibility that I will do some more serious damage and won’t be able to go on. There goes the race.
So when I noticed Labor of Love on the Maniacs calendar, a 50 and 100 miler completely on pavement with a 32 hour cutoff since the 50 mile runners have the same time cutoff as the 100 mile runners, within driving distance of my house, I signed up. Then Lisa registered for a conference in San Diego earlier the same week and we realized that the scheduling worked out for her to come up to Los Angeles and for us to drive over to Las Vegas together. Lisa has already done a 50 miler, and she signed up for the full marathon.
Came a couple of weeks before race day and Lisa was having knee problems but she decided to come anyway and attempt the marathon, knowing she could walk it because a 32 hour time limit means you could sit on your bum and scoot the whole way and still get in under the cutoff. We met up on Thursday, she spent the night at my house, and we drove up to Nevada on Friday.
First stop was the Hoover Dam suspension bridge to see Lake Mead and the dam itself. We liked the view and were particularly pleased to spot a bighorn sheep near the vista point. I suspect that sheep is on the Nevada Chamber of Commerce’s payroll, he showed himself to tourists in the vista point parking lot, strolled up to the skyline to silhouette himself against a rock, then wandered down the other side of the ridge so we could see him as we drove out. Then off to the hotel (not on the Strip, thank you, too noisy) and we stopped at Target for some last minute items and had an early night. Set the alarm for 5 AM the next morning and tried to rest up.
Up early, put on layers of running gear because it was in the low 40s in the morning but was predicted to hit the 70s during the day, slathered on the sunscreen and Bodyglide, inhaled some caffeine and headed out. The race is off Highway 160 about 30 minutes west of Las Vegas, over a mountain ridge, south of RedRockCanyon, in the Spring Canyon Recreation Area of the Toiyabe-HumboldtNational Forest, which is enormous and covers large noncontiguous chunks of Nevada. The race is all on paved road, so aggregate and asphalt and concrete. The road is open to vehicles, which occasionally posed a problem, but it’s not a through road so the traffic was people camping or target shooting or just out for the day, not driving to get somewhere.
We parked along the road, as instructed, and walked up to the start line. Picked up our packets, walked back to the car, deposited everything except our race numbers and Lisa’s chip. 7 AM start. Saturday morning was the 100m, 50m, full marathon, half, and 10K. Sunday morning they were having the 50K and another half and I think the 5K, plus some 100 milers would be finishing up. A moment of silence for Boston, last minute announcements reminding us that there would be cars on the course and the logistics of various distances, and we were off.
The course is on an 11 mile road. 100 miler is out and back 4 times and then out 6 and back. 50 miler is out and back 2 times and then out 3 and back. (I was to curse that last short leg mightily at 6:30 PM that evening.) Full goes out 11 miles, turns and goes back 2.1, turns again and goes out to the 11 mile turnaround, then turns and returns to the start line. It’s a net uphill for the out, with some rolling sections and one descent into a wash, and then net downhill back with one nasty hill which is the ascent out of the wash. (For those who have run Big Sur, this hill is roughly the same distance/elevation as Hurricane Point, maybe a little lower, but it definitely doesn’t start from sea level!) Starts at about 4700 feet and climbs to about 6000 at the 11 mile turnaround.
Marathoners are wearing chips, ultra runners aren’t, so marathoners start over the chip mat. This causes Lisa grief right from the start – she trips on the mat and strains an already problematic right leg. She decides that it’s better to walk and finish than to run and probably not finish. I decide I would rather start out slowly and stick with her, and so she walks and I trot. We set out on the first portion of the course, a few other walkers in front of us, the rest of the field disappearing up the road.
This stretch is high desert, creosote bushes and Joshua trees with a few pinyon pines and juniper trees in the mix. We see some spring wildflowers. We take our time up the hill. The race advertised an aid station at 5.5 miles and another one at the turnaround, and we’re carrying water accordingly; we are pleasantly surprised to find a water station at mile 1.4 and another at mile 3. We’re amused to see that the station at 3 is staffed by a dad and two kids wearing flamingo hats, and the station is decorated with pink plastic flamingos.
At this point we start getting passed by the faster half marathoners. Lisa and I are doing 19 minute miles. We shake our heads at the number of halfies who are wearing headphones. I do miss the days when runners talked to each other rather than zoning out to their own soundtracks.
On we go, past another water station at 4.2 staffed by one guy and two dogs – one spaniel in a crate “because she chases cars”, the other a well-behaved border collie/Australian shepherd cross named Delilah. We start the descent into Lovell CanyonWash and hear gunfire. There’s an informal shooting area in the wash itself and a number of cars are parked there, people are doing target practice. Someone comments that now he knows what happens to runners who cut the course. A sign announces that this is the home of “SMFT Shooting Practice” which a later Google shows to be Spring Mountain Free Trappers, a club that shoots black powder muzzle-loaders. They’re loud! Right by the shooting club is the halfway station, a table with food (for the ultra runners) and water and also equipped with a portapotty. There’s a bit of a line so we go on, figuring that we’ll go past the half marathon turnaround point and then find a convenient place off the road.
Continue up the road, it climbs slowly and steadily for the next 5.5 miles. We are starting to see the first 100m and 50m runners coming back on their first lap, then some of the marathoners. I recognize some of them from previous races, the southern California / Nevada / NW Arizona / SW Utah ultra communities have a good deal of overlap. We pass the turnaround for the marathon and see more runners. We greet each one as he or she approaches; most of them say “hello”, although one man responds to our “good morning” with a resounding belch. (Um…OK. Whatever.)
There are a couple more aid stations with water and Heed only. Lisa fills up a bottle with Heed at each aid station. I take a cup of water but avoid the Heed, I don’t like the stuff. I am drinking a lot of water, though.
The vegetation gets greener and the trees get taller as we get further into the canyon and reach higher elevations. A few of the mountains surrounding us actually have snow on their tops. This is pinyon pine, juniper, and creosote bush territory. There was obviously a fire some years back, the older trees are burned and dead but there’s new growth sprouting from the base of each tree.
We get to the end, have a snack at the 11 mile aid station, and start back. Still holding a steady 19 minute pace, better than I’d expect to do for walking. 2 miles and Lisa has to turn back for the marathon mileage, I’m headed straight for the start/finish line. It’s 11:19. I’m wondering if I can make it the 5 miles to the start by 1 PM. I take off down the road, running a little faster and enjoying the downhill. Through the halfway station and up the big hill. I run up this mostly because I can. Pass one runner who’s doing her very first marathon and encourage her to kick the hill’s butt. She grins and does so. Crest the hill, down the road, past the aid stations, and I get into the start/finish, passing a few fellow 50 milers on the way. (OK, two, that’s a few!) 22 miles down. Fill up bottle with ice, grab some potato chips, visit the portapotty, and head out again. I’m third from last at this point.
Up the road again for the second full loop. By now it’s 1:00 exactly. Made it! I proceed up the road, pass the turnaround we’ll be visiting later, trying not to think about how much that last 6 miles are going to suck. I pass a few of the latecoming full marathoners, then spy Lisa at her mile 22, my mile 26. She warns me that the water stations other than the halfway point and the end are being packed up. Good to know.
I go down the big hill into the wash – they are still shooting – and fill up my bottle with water and ice at the halfway aid station. Some of the ultra runners are coming back from their second loop.
There was some cloud cover yesterday and we were hoping for more today, but there is absolutely nothing save the atmosphere between us and the sun. It’s hot. Past the 29 mile marker and I’m sticking to the left side of the road because that’s the shady side. Now comes the scariest part of the race. I look a few yards ahead of me and realize that there is something emerging from under a bush. It’s brown, thick-bodied, about 2.5 feet long, with a rattle on the back end and a flat triangular head on the end that’s pointing at me – weaving back and forth and coiling up in full DEFCON mode, he obviously feels threatened. I cover the width of the road in one leap and assure the snake from the dubious safety of the other side of the road that I have absolutely no interest in harming him in any way, it’s best that he go his way and I go mine. Snake slowly subsides out of defense posture and disappears back under the bush. Once my adrenaline quiets down a little I continue on my way. For the next mile I warn each runner coming towards me to be aware of the snake. Unlike the half marathoners, the ultra folk don’t seem to wear headphones very much – for good reason. (Google Images says this is probably a Panamint rattlesnake, not as bad tempered as a Mohave green or a sidewinder but still well capable of self-defense.)
I am getting tired, and I’m worried about whether or not I can get done with this before dark. I push up the road to the turnaround. I make it at 3:40, which means I’m doing 14x pace, and that’s the uphill portion. It will be dusk at about 7:30 and full dark just before 8 PM. The moon’s already up, it’s just over half full and waxing so it won’t give that much light.
Different aid station staff now. I look wistfully at the closed off road beyond us and the trail head up which the 50K will go tomorrow, that looks worth exploring, but I am turning back.
I’m now past 34 miles and into terra incognita. I’ve never run further than this in one day. This is a slow steady downhill, which means I’m going a little faster, though I do need a couple of potty breaks – and I am definitely heading for the portapotties along the road, I do not want another encounter with His Royal Scaliness or any of his relatives.
The target practice is still going on. How much ammo did they bring out, anyway, or are these different shooters? All the marathon water stations are closed now, tables and supplies chained together waiting for tomorrow’s 50K and half, but the 5.5 mile aid station is staffed. I get more ice in my bottle, grab half a granola bar, and head up the hill for the second time. Definitely not running as fast as I was the first time, it’s more of a plod, but I do jog up the hill rather than walk. I’m seeing more 100 milers out on their third leg. Just after the crest of the hill I pass the 4 mile marker and eat the last of my tangerines, wishing I had more. Citrus fruit is the best thing during a race in my opinion. I’m sipping water and have occasional “hope I don’t throw up” hiccup type feelings, but I don’t actually throw up. I’d like to avoid that if possible.
Here’s the 3 mile marker and the turnaround point for the last leg of the 50 miler. A woman with a 50m bib on is rounding the turnaround point and heading back down. I call down the road “Seen and witnessed!” and she smiles and takes off on her last 3 miles. I wish it was me! This is the toughest bit. I’m going down the hill and I know that as soon as I reach the end point I will have to turn and come all the way back up here again.
I’m holding a sub 15 pace, but the sun’s dropping, and the last three miles are on the east side of a hill so this area will lose the light faster. I try to jog more quickly but I don’t want to push it too hard, and I’m having to stay out of the way of a number of cars leaving the recreation area after a hard day’s shooting and a number of other cars coming in for a night’s partying and/or camping.
There’s a 100 mile entrant sitting on the side of the road, I ask him if he’s OK – yes he is, just resting because his legs hurt. (Gosh, wonder why.) Does he need me to alert the race officials? He’s alarmed. Oh no! He’s fine. Good, glad to hear it.
I get to the finish line area at about 6:25 and demand more ice in my bottle, nothing else, I have been fueling, I am fine, I don’t need anything. (I think the last time I was this bossy to people who were trying to help me, I was in labour). Lisa is smiling at the finish line. I plead to have the car moved from where it is parked along the road to the finish line area so I won’t have to walk so far after the race. There’s a problem. My car is a stick shift. Lisa has not driven a manual transmission for many years and is (justifiably) worried about pulling onto a 4 lane highway. Perhaps she can find someone else to move it? I leave her trying to find someone who will admit to knowing how to shift and head back up the road for the last short leg.
Urgh. This is tough. The light is getting noticeably yellower. My legs are hurting now. And they have removed the 1 mile and 2 mile markers, which I was depending on to tell me where I was! Wah! There are mileposts but they are inconspicuous and not in exactly the same place as the mile markers were. I struggle up the road, passing three other 50 milers on the way, and finally see the 3 mile marker. Almost! Then the portapotty at the 3 mile aid station, then – at last! – the turnaround cone. I pat it and turn around for 3 miles downhill to the end.
It is definitely dusk now. I trot as fast as I can. I get passed by one of the 50 mile entrants, a woman wearing blue, but then pass two guys, one who’s in the 50 and a friend of his. Just as the woman passes me I come close to stepping on a snake on the pavement, but this is a small gopher snake and certainly far more scared of me than I am of it. Woman in blue hears my squawk and asks if I’m OK. Yes, just a snake. Would she mind running ahead of me and scaring them all away, please? She laughs and takes off ahead.
It is close to dark now, it’s 7:30, and I’m two miles out. Cars are passing me at intervals. Then a truck pulls up alongside me and Lisa hands me a flashlight out of the passenger window, bless her. I am so grateful for that! The truck heads further up the road and I continue with the flashlight trained on the pavement just in front of me. I’m most worried about snakes since they come out at night and lie on the road to absorb the residual heat coming off the asphalt. Everything else I can deal with.
This really hurts. I focus on breathing. In for 3 steps, out for two, repeat. And repeat. And repeat. Past the one mile marker. Almost there. More breathing, more downhill, and finally I see the finish line, descend into the little wash by the road, come up out of it, and I am DONE! 1189 is in. I stagger over to the food table and sit down. The RD, Joyce, is there to greet finishing runners. I’m offered food and water. Not really hungry, but they have little applesauce tubs in a bowl of ice and that looks good. One of the medical people opens the applesauce for me since I fumble with it. Ooh, it IS good. Finish that and start on another.
Then Joyce tells me that I won my age group. No way! I can’t have been the first female 40-49. I forgot that since the overall winners are removed from the age group results then later finishers could be AG winners. I receive the AG award, a small cactus in a pot, and thank her. My time wasn’t great – 12:49, I think, though results aren’t posted online yet – but I am just happy to be done.
The truck returns. Lisa retrieves the flashlight and returns it to the kind medic from whom she borrowed it. Turns out that the truck was driven by the wife of another 50 mile runner who was behind me, and they went on to offer him a flashlight and/or a jacket. He had a flashlight but he didn’t have a jacket and he was glad to have them coming out to check on him. And the car has been moved, so glad to see it at the finish line. Lisa begs some bandages and lances from the medic for her blisters and we head back to the hotel for much-needed showers. I grit my teeth and climb into an ice bath before showering, and while I didn’t want that ice bath at the time I was glad the next day that I’d forced myself. Once we’ve cleaned up we put on comfy clothes and go out to a Mexican restaurant recommended by the Target cashier. They blanch at our sartorial elegance – Lisa in race shirt, jean capris, socks with donuts on them, and sandals, and me in a long sleeved yellow race T, black sweat pants, and pink Uggs, both of us wearing race medals – and seat us in a booth far from the door, but the food and the drinks are good and the waiter is interested to hear about the race. He rides his motorbike out in SpringCanyon sometimes. We’re surprisingly unhungry, but at least we ate something.
Early night, my legs are so tired they’re restless. Lisa ices her knee and leg and nurses blisters. I sleep. She doesn’t. The next day we’re up in good time, have breakfast, and head back to California. I have chafing on my back where my bra strap rubbed, sunburned ears and scalp where the sunscreen didn’t work, and a couple of blisters but mine aren’t nearly as bad as Lisa’s are.
I am amazed I did this, and have already gone through the “never again!” stage and am into the “hmmm….perhaps another one sometime” mode of thinking, although I still have the worries about time cutoffs and terrain issues. However, I would recommend this race. There were some drawbacks – the food at the aid stations was not ideal, I wish I had done the math regarding the time the race would take and planned for nightfall in an area further east in the same time zone than I’m used to, and some of the motorists on the course were not happy about sharing the road with runners – but overall this was a well-run race in an unexpectedly gorgeous part of the country. I would never have anticipated this terrain so close to Las Vegas, and this race was a memorable one.
Tessa yikes on the snake. It would have really freaked me out!
Nice pic Julie. I will post pics when it gets closer to the wedding.
Fran you are doing great.
Ginny what a great run.
Tessa...loved the RR! You are awesome! Snake would have freaked me out too, reptiles and I are not friends! Wonderful job! We runners do persevere don't we?
Camille...forgot to say that I liked both dresses too.
BTW... Tessa did take Sunday off from running. Not sure what her excuse is today.
<glad I am 3 time zones away>
She also forgot one of the most memorable sightings. On the side of a strip mall (using the term purposely) is advertisement for services rendered inside... Brazilians starting at $49.99 and Boyzillians starting at $59.99. Apparently there is something more painful than walking a marathon or running 50 miles. And they think we are crazy.
Legs are feeling pretty good. The right knee is tender if I at all twist it. Screams like a banshee along the sides, then subsides. I'm being very gently with stretching that IT band. very gentle. basically feels like a sprained ankle after the fact. you know like when you step on it wrong after it's nearly healed. Left foot... Second little piggy isn't going to market anytime soon.
Tessa, you are amazing. I can't imagine how hard it was to head out for that last 6 miles. And then they took down the mile markers, and 1/4 mile probably felt like three miles, and it was getting dark, and late.....that's some mental toughness for sure, lady! Very impressed with what you accomplished.
Since everyone else is blogging: http://karenrunsfar.blogspot.com/Upcoming Races: 11/23 JFK 50, 12/14 Hoover Dam Marathon, 1/11-12 Goofy Challenge, 4/21 Boston!!
6 miles (tempo run) after work, absolutely beautiful weather out there FINALLY!!
Hi Judy - hope you had a good track run!
Marjorie - hope you enjoy your vacation!
Carol - have a blast with Aly! Hope the Boston run went well!
Camille - cute dresses! I think I like #1 best, but it's hard to choose!
Damaris - great job on the ultra, have to go read the RR!
Sue - hello there, hope you had a good one!
Karen - um, I think you deserve a cut back day lol
Lisa - sounds like a blast with Tessa, I need to read your RR also
Amy - nice run!
Tessa - I am not a huge rum fan, but I am a cake fan, so I'm sure I'd like it ha ha
Cindy - that is a great 10 mile time. Sorry about the stressful beginning, I 'hate' when stuff like that happens..
Oops, missed page 2...
Hi Fran - keep it up, you are doing great!
Julie - great group! You are a cutie
Ginny - that is a great 10 mile time, I think our mojo is returning with the nicer weather
Tessa - you are awesome and I am amazed at your detailed memory. Great job to you and Lisa
Tessa - as always, great RR! The rattlesnake would have totally freaked me out.
2013 Races: St. Leo's 10K 3/16, Lillie's Friends 5K 3/30, Tar Heel 10-Miler 4/20, Hatfield-McCoy Half Marathon 6/8, Twin City Field and River Run 5K 8/3, Delaware County Fair 5K 8/17, Turkey Strut 5K 11/28, Mistletoe Half Marathon 12/7
Ahem. Who needs an excuse? 4 miles this evening.
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